Jobs at EMBL Australia, PhD training course, and new research

EMBL Australia

Posted on behalf of Nadia Rosenthal, Scientific Head, EMBL Australia

It’s been a pretty exciting time for EMBL Australia lately, with international visitors, new group leaders, and even a Nature paper.

But the one thing which really stood out for me in the past year was our EMBL Australia PhD Course.

At last year’s course at WEHI in Melbourne, we spent two weeks with 60 passionate and enthusiastic PhD students.

Not only did the students learn the tools of the trade from top researchers, they also formed an invaluable network of peers, who will hold their own student-run symposium in Sydney later this year.

This year we’ll bring together another 60 PhD students at ANU in Canberra. Applications are open now – read on for more details.

For those who’ve finished their studies, we’re also looking for post-doctoral researchers to join our growing research teams in Adelaide.

And young bioinformaticians who are keen to get a foothold in industry can apply their university studies to real world problems with an AMSI internship. See below for details.

At the heart of it, this is what EMBL and EMBL Australia are really about: exciting our young researchers and giving them the support, the tools and the connections they need for a flying start in life science.

In this month’s newsletter:

  • Research head-start: the 2nd EMBL Australia PhD Course comes to ANU
  • Right time, right place – when punctuality is a matter of life or death
  • In other news:
    • Want to work with EMBL Australia in Adelaide?
    • AMSI Intern is searching for an up and coming bioinformatician
    • Who runs the world? Microbes!
    • EMBO workshops come to Australia
  • Events and deadlines

Research head-start: the 2nd EMBL Australia PhD Course comes to ANU

There are 60 places available at this two week intensive, which gives first year PhD students a unique introduction to research.

  • See how a PhD fits into the bigger world of science
  • Get a taste for a range of fields: bioinformatics, developmental biology, genomics, systems biology, regenerative medicine and more
  • Think about how developments in another field of science can impact your own research direction

The 2014 EMBL Australia PhD Course is being hosted by the Australian National University in Canberra from 30 June to 11 July.

Registrations are now open and close 28 April.

This year’s course will build on the success of the inaugural course held at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne in 2013.

It was great to meet so many other PhD students, and to be able to talk about our research and troubleshoot our problems together,” says Chloe Warren, a PhD student at the University of Newcastle who attended last year.

It’s a great way to kick start a research career, and gives students the opportunity to develop the skills and networks they need to succeed.

Our course is based on the compulsory pre-doctoral course which all incoming students take at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory.

For a list of speakers and to find out more about this year’s course visit the website.

Right time, right place – when punctuality is a matter of life of death

Your cells are finely-tuned machines. They’re constantly in action, with complex processes happening at just the right time and the right place within them. But how is all their activity regulated?

Dr Anne Ephrussi from the EMBL was in Australia recently for the Lorne conferences, some Aussie sunshine, and to catch up on the progress of Australian research in her field.

“There is a very strong community of developmental biologists and specialists in RNA regulation in Australia and it is always stimulating and a pleasure to have the opportunity to meet with them’, says Anne.

“It is my hope that this trip will translate into further exchange of excellent science in the future.”

Whilst she was in Australia, Anne spoke to scientists at the  Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute (ARMI) about her work back in Germany.

Anne and her colleagues at the Developmental Biology Unit at EMBL in Heidelberg are figuring out how cells acquire their polarized functions. And they’re using the fruit fly to unlock these cellular secrets.

“In many organisms, including for example fruit-flies, frogs and fish, the egg is loaded with maternal mRNAs, waiting for fertilisation to happen before all of the processes that take an egg to an embryo can start,” Anne explains.

“Our question is, how does the cell repress mRNAs until it they are in the right place, and how is their translation activated at the right time?”

Read more about Anne’s work on the EMBL Australia website.

Want to work with EMBL Australia in Adelaide?

Do you know a bioinformatician who wants to get into medicine? Can crunch the numbers on cardiovascular  disease? Or is interested in the complex networks and systems behind our immune response?

Maybe you are that person?

Our two new SA group leaders are advertising for post-doctoral researcher positions in their teams. Applications to join Ville-Petteri Mäkinen’s group – using big data to take on heart disease closed on Monday.

But David Lynn is still looking for a postdoctoral researcher and a lab technician to join him unravelling the complexity of our first line of defence.

Applications for these positions are open until Friday 18 April.

Follow the links for full position descriptions:

Searching for an up and coming bioinformatician to intern at CSL

AMSI Intern connects postgraduate students and their university supervisors with industry partners through short-term, tightly-focused research internships.

Right now they’re offering a paid internship with Melbourne-based R&D company CSL.

It’s a rare opportunity for an early career bioinformatician to gain hands-on experience with the leading open source and commercial tools for systems biology.

The project would best suit an intern with a biological background in gene expression profiling, and experience in bioinformatics.

It will develop the intern’s understanding of the ethical drug development process and the criticality of a multidisciplinary approach including bioinformatics to progress a pre-clinical drug candidate through the clinic for the treatment of diseases with significant unmet medical need.

They’re looking for an intern for a four-month placement starting in June/July 2014.

Students must be current postgraduate students (PhD, Masters) and must have their academic mentor’s approval.

Find out more, or by apply by sending your CV, to Cate Ballard: before CoB 16th April.

Who runs the world? Microbes!

First there was the human genome, now there is the ecogenome – the genomics of the earth’s biosphere. 

Over the last decade, our ability to acquire data about microbes, microbial communities and their environment has grown at faster rate than our ability to analyse and make sense of the data.

In February, the Australian Bioinformatics Network supported a symposium exploring this topic in Canberra – Ecogenomics: from Data to Knowledge. 

This meeting brought together researchers from different disciplines to combine powers and gain a collective insight into ecogenomic data, and share opinions about why we need to analyse ecogenomic data and how it can be used.

So what does ecogenomics mean? And what difference do microbes make to our world?

Watch the video on the ABN website

EMBO workshops come to Australia

European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO) Workshops provide scientists from different fields with the opportunity to discuss common themes and exchange results and ideas.

The first ever EMBO workshop in Australia is coming this October – to Broome, WA!

EMBO workshop on Wnt signalling: stem cells, development and disease

Wnt ligands are key regulators of development, stem cell biology and regeneration. The dynamic control of Wnt signaling regulates basic cellular processes including cell proliferation, differentiation, migration and apoptosis.

Recent advances in our understanding of signalling mechanisms have provided the tools and conceptual framework for the analysis of Wnt deregulation in disease, leading to the emergence of early-stage therapies for the treatment of disease.

The workshop will cover:

  • Basic mechanisms of signal transduction and their role in development
  • Wnt interactions with other signalling pathways
  • Human oncogenesis and other diseases
  • Therapeutic targeting and drug development

Speakers are confirmed from the UK, USA, Asia and Australia including:

  • Hans Clevers, Utrecht, Netherlands (Keynote)
  • Tony Burgess, The Walter and Eliza Hall Research Institute, Melbourne (Plenary)
  • Christophe Marcelle, Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute, Melbourne (Plenary)
  • Randal Moon, Seattle, USA (Plenary)
  • Roel Nusse, Stanford, USA (Plenary)

Find out more and register online.

About EMBL Australia

EMBL – the European Molecular Biology Laboratory – is Europe’s flagship for the life sciences. The Australian government joined EMBL as an Associate Member in 2008.

EMBL Australia is an unincorporated joint venture between members of the Group of Eight universities and the CSIRO, supported by the Australian government.

Read more about EMBL Australia